From The Associate Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Divorce in the nation's military was no higher after four years of war than it was in peacetime a decade earlier, despite the stress of long and repeated tours of duty.
A yearlong study by Rand Corp. says divorces rose from 2.5 percent of military marriages in 2001 to 3 percent in 2005. But that is still short of a previous Pentagon theory that marriage breakups had been soaring due to the strain of fighting the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, lead researcher Benjamin Karney said Thursday.
He cautioned that the review of service records could not foresee whether more divorces will occur in years after troops leave the service.
And he also said the yearlong study on ''Families Under Stress'' did not look at other possible consequences, either current or future, such as increases in alcoholism or the toll on orphaned or emotionally stressed children of troops.
Granted that most military personnel are not lifers, the military divorce rate is amazingly below the US standard. Compare and contrast: Only 3% of troops who tie the knot untie it, while 43% of US marriages tank (thank you) within the first 10 years. What is causing this? Does it take a village-or a green zone-to keep marriage intact? Are military families more cohesive and supportive of mission than non-military families? Or, maybe absence really does make the heart grow fonder, and we should commission another study once their contracts are up. Anecdotally, this is quite surprising: Allegedly, a number of young soldiers get married for the salary increase and a chance to live outside of the barracks. Maybe what we all need is more bottom-line incentive not to go AWOL in a marriage.